Invisible Places 2017 R&D

Lagoa do Fogo on Sao Miguel in the Azores of Portugal on the planet Earth

I have been awarded a Grant For The Arts to fund a period of research and development relating to my practice in field recording and composition. The project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. The R&D will take place over one year from March 2017-2018 and I will document the progress of this project on these web pages and posts on my blogroll in the category tagged ‘IP 2017 R&D’. I am very grateful to ACE for this award which will provide an opportunity for me to research new recording technology and surround sound composition methodologies, research and develop my soundwalk practice and create some new work both independently and in collaboration with Annie Mahtani, my SOUNDkitchen colleague.

Project Summary

This is a summary of the scope of the R&D project. Click on the headings to find out more about my progress in each area.

SOUNDkitchen SOUNDwalk Ponta Delgada 

Invisible Places 2017 - Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Azores. 7-9 April 2017

The project begins with a trip to Sao Miguel island in the Azores. SOUNDkitchen had a proposal accepted to design and lead SOUNDwalks at Invisible Places 2017 in Ponta Delgada. This 3 day international symposium brings together artists and academics in the fields of ecology and soundscape art to share research and practice on the subject of sound, urbanism and sense of place. Annie and I will devise and lead a public SOUNDwalk that includes environmental listening, live microphones and recorded sounds. This is an opportunity to develop our soundwalk practice following successful SOUNDkitchen SOUNDwalks in Birmingham in the last few years.

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Field Recording R&D – Sao Miguel Island, Azores

In addition to creating the SOUNDkitchen SOUNDwalk and attending the symposium I will be spending three days of my trip to Sao Miguel making field recordings on the island. My intention is to make a number of recordings using a variety of different recording techniques and microphones in a range of locations. I am particularly interested in researching ambisonic sound recording, a technique that creates 360º surround recordings. I also expect to make recordings using hydrophones and contact microphones.

Field Recording R&D – UK

I will continue the development of my field recording practice back in the UK.

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SOUNDkitchen – Live Performance

For several years I have been developing a live performance practice that examines the musical potential of recorded sounds through the use of live electronics, control interfaces and multichannel loudspeaker diffusion. I will be working with Annie under the SOUNDkitchen banner to create a new live performance using recordings made during this R&D. I’ll also be researching the application of ambisonic recordings in this context and the potential of ambisonics as a live spatialisation methodology through the development of custom built software in MAX/MSP and other tools.

Compositional Practice

My musical compositions are always created from recorded sound; field recordings, studio recordings and their subsequent combinations and manipulations. I will be researching methodologies to integrate ambisonic and other multichannel recordings into my practice. This will cover what is practical and possible in my home studio with the recording technology I own. I’ll be looking at the technical challenges and aesthetic choices that present themselves and developing strategies to address these in the creation of new work. What form this work will take is currently unknown; fixed media composition, sound installation, sound theatre, live performance… we’ll see.

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